The Effect Of Catalytic Converters On The Environment Essay

The Effect Of Catalytic Converters On The Environment Essay

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In today’s society, cars and other transportation vehicles produce pollution, harming the environment as well as one’s health. Engines produce toxic substances such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. However, the invention of the catalytic converter has helped reduce the pollution. Catalytic converters were first used due to the contractions on toxic emission regulations in the 1970s. The catalytic converter “turn the harmful chemicals in vehicle exhausts into harmless gases such as steam” (Woodford). These catalytic converters are essential to creating a less polluted atmosphere. An engine with and without a catalytic converter differs greatly and the reactions occurring are very significant in understanding the role of the converter; however, catalytic converters can continue to be improved to be more efficient and less problematic.
An engine with a catalytic converter is very disparate compared to an engine without one. For instance, an engine without a catalytic converter burns hydrocarbon fuel, which results in air pollution. The energy released from the burning and the products created are not harmful, but as they pass through the engine, the oxygen amounts cause air pollutants. Engines produce carbon monoxide, which is poisonous, as well as volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide. “Pollutant gases are made of harmful molecules, but those molecules are made from relatively harmless atoms” (Woodsford). A catalytic converter splits the molecules, so that the products are not detrimental. This occurs right before the molecules reach the air and after they leave the engine. “The catalytic converter sits between the engine and the tailpipe” (Woodford). They vary in that an engine with a catalytic converter helps remov...


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...e’s temperature to get rid of these substances from the exhaust pipe. Some detrimental environmental effects are the creation of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, which contribute to global warming. This can be fixed by improving the catalytic converters. In doing so, the catalytic converter would be more efficient and it wouldn’t harm the environment in any way.
To sum it up, catalytic converters are found in most transportation vehicles with an internal combustion engine. Although the catalytic converter has made large contributions to bettering our world, it still has a long way to go. Scientists and engineers are continuing to discover ways to improve their system and efficiency. This invention has revolutionized and helped the environment in numerous ways, from converting toxins to less detrimental substances to aiding in a cleaner, less polluted atmosphere.

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